Natee & Bee Tanchanpongs
Ministry Area: Thailand
Responsibilities: Campus ministry
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Natee returned to Thailand after completing his M.Div. in 2000. He joined a cooperative effort with the MTW church-planting team in Bangkok. The team's strategy involves direct church planting, university ministry, and community development/mercy ministry. To find out more about this church planting effort in Bangkok, visit the team's website at www.mtwthailand.org.
After their marriage in May 2002, Natee and Bee moved to Chicago so that Natee could begin the Ph.D. program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Systematic Theology. Following the birth of their daughter Maisie in April and the completion of his doctoral work in May 2007, Natee is back in Thailand teaching at the Bangkok Bible College and Seminary and rejoining the MTW church planting team. He sees this as a great opportunity to lay a well-grounded biblical foundation for the Thai church.
Latest Report: (updated 2/1/2014)
Dear Ministry Partners,
Happy New Year 2014! Bee, the kids and I just came back from a two week long trip upcountry. We went to the Thai Myanmar border when some soldiers from the Karen National Union (KNU) took us into Myanmar to visit a Karen village, celebrating Christmas. On the same trip, we went further up north to Chiang Mai, where I had opportunities to preach at a church in the city and in churches in small villages up in the mountain. We spent time encouraging pastors and their families and were very much encouraged by their fortitude and zeal. The kids love being a part of the local communities.
The new semester at the seminary begins next week. This year there are about 150 students in resident, another 100 evening and part-time, about 70 in our special modular programs, 300+ in our extension education and over 100 in our on-line program. We are starting a new Lay Leadership's biblical preaching and teaching training. Our total enrollment last semester was 746 students, which should be even higher yet this term. This will meet every other Saturday for 21 weeks. I will be teaching the theology and hermeneutics modules. We are expecting upwards of 20 in our first cohort.
At the moment I have been the moderator of the church planting committee. We want this committee to function as a prelude to a presbytery. Since there are now multiple church planting teams out of New City Fellowship church, the committee will act as a local oversight to these teams. This body consists of Reformed men from various organizations (PMI, MTW, OMF, IFES, etc.) In conjunction with forming a structure for a new denomination, our Thai Catechism project is more than half way through the first phase. Our hope is to have this document to help us train church members and officers in our Reformed and Covenantal distinctive in the vernacular and addressing issues that may be uniquely Thai. We also want to work on a book of church order and a church constitution.
For the past year, our family has been working to plant a new church in the center city Bangkok (Grace City Bangkok). We have met as a small group for several months and have started 3 monthly worship services. They averaged about 50 people. We also hosted a wonderful Christmas party at our house, where the team invited many potential invitees to it. We are moving to a hopefully more permanent worship site. It is a function room in a hotel (The Emporium Suite) that is attached to a very nice shopping mall downtown. Our first worship service is this Sunday. You can be kept abreast through our facebook (Grace City Bangkok).
As some of you may know that in November, I was back in the US for about two weeks. I was asked to write and deliver a paper at Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) annual meeting. This year it was held in Baltimore. The paper went well and after the editorial process, it will be compiled into a book for seminarians. It took quite a bit of work, but I felt that it was a project that I'd needed to do. There are not many from Thailand who has been asked to participate and contribute at such a forum.
Lastly, I must talk about the political situation in Thailand. We have been in the news. People have taken to the streets in numbers larger that the Arab Springs. The people here have had it with our corrupted government. There is not enough space here to explain, but there is a 10 minutes video clip that would clarify the situation and help guide you to pray for the nation (http://youtu.be/pQVjUsKSKUE)
The family is all well. Bee continues to be heavily involved with the kids' school. She is a part of its event organizing committee. Maisie A's her Math and (believe it or not) Chinese. But her spiritual growth is what truly brings us joy. We are discovering that Meno is a visual learner. He has a bit of a problem with communication, but he is nevertheless very creative. Just tonight, on this own, he cut pieces of paper and taped them together into a 3 dimensional house.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support. There is much more that I have not included. Needless to say that things seem to always me busy around here.
Natee, Bee, Maisie & Meno